Innovate BC and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) are providing a combined total of over $2 million in research and development funding to help 14 companies pilot their technologies and create new jobs across B.C.
The program helps small and medium sized businesses design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology while helping to solve real world problems. Examples of these solutions include mitigating the impacts of climate change, improving operational efficiencies, and increasing health and safety.
By providing up to $200,000 in funding for each project, the B.C. Fast Pilot Program enables B.C. technology companies to demonstrate the impact of their product, measure the value of their solution, and encourage customer adoption. For customers, the program offers a way to minimize some of the risk that traditional industries encounter when adopting new technologies.
This is the third round of funding through the BC Fast Pilot Program, originally launched in 2019.
In the first two years of the program, 34 pilot demonstrations were funded a combined total of $3.8 million. Notable outcomes include the creation of 65 jobs, the acquisition of 75 new customers, and an increase of $10.4 million in new revenue for participating projects.
One of these projects, from Burnaby-based Acuva Technologies, provided low maintenance, mercury-free, and off-grid water disinfection systems that can meet the demand for purified water in First Nations communities in B.C.
Founded in 2014 with the mission to address barriers to safe drinking water, Acuva has now grown into an international operation with B.C. based researchers and was named one of 10 Homegrown B.C. Startups to Watch in 2022 by Techcouver last month.
“Small and medium sized businesses are at the root of solving problems people face everyday,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“The BC Fast Pilot initiative is helping businesses take problem solving to a new level while tackling our worlds greatest challenges led by new ideas and innovations. I encourage all eligible businesses to take advantage of this great program and their solutions on how to contribute to a Stronger B.C. for everyone.”